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UAE: 37 employees of Ambassador Hotel allege they have not been paid for 2 years; includes company comment

"KT exclusive: 'Unpaid staff' of Dubai hotel struggle to survive", 9 Sep 2020

Employees of one of the oldest hotels in Dubai - now shut for renovation - claim they are stranded in the country without salaries and jobs. Nearly 37 employees of Ambassador Hotel...alleged that many of them had not been paid for nearly two years...The owner, Raju Lulla, however, denied the allegations, saying that the hotel would be back in operation and the staff would be paid as soon as he is back in the UAE..."I have not been paid for more than a year and a half. The company owes me Dh55,000 in pending salaries and end-of-service benefits. The only good side is I am not sleeping on the streets and I am living in the hotel itself," Pravin Solanki, who joined the hotel as a bartender in 1997, told Khaleej Times.... The Indian expat...said the management offered him free ticket and Dh1,000 to fly home, which he declined. "The PRO told me to take the money and go back home. But I am asking for my hard-earned salary," said Solanki...Losing all hope that the management will keep its promises, some employees filed a legal case against the employer. Court papers show that the workers have got a favourable verdict, which ordered the owner to settle the dues...[T]he owner of Ambassador Hotel, Raju Lulla, said he had settled the dues of more than 200 employees before closing the hotel for renovation."There are a few left. I flew to India in March for medical treatment and nobody thought the coronavirus will last this long. Most of my senior management staff are in India at the moment and I don't have anyone responsible in Dubai to take care of the employees. As soon as the flights are regularised, we will sit down with each one of them, settle their payments, and fly them home," said Lulla...When asked about the unpaid salaries, Lulla insisted that he does not have any funding issues and that he was "punishing them like a father for their misbehaviour".